Pathological lying is a term used by psychiatrists for the behavior of habitual or compulsive lying. It may not be hard to recognize a pathological liar. Still, to be absolutely sure one needs to know a little about pathological liar's history and his/ her current psychological stability. Being familiar with the history of a pathological liar will be of great help in realizing of the lying patterns. Furthermore, psychological stability is additional factor necessary for conformation of pathological lying. Many people lie because this accompanies mental illnesses they are suffering from. Pathological lying typically occurs in bipolar disorder, borderline personality, antisocial personality disorder, delusional thinking, and narcissistic personality disorder and sometimes in depression.
Causes of Pathological Lying
Pathological lying is not an illness per se but a symptom of numerous mental disorders. Apart from that many people may lie even though they are not suffering from any mental illness. It is believed that some people lie because they do not want to hurt other people's feelings, they try to avoid unnecessary problems and embarrassment. Still, pathological lying is also a characteristic of a habitual liar. Sometimes pathological liars switch their dream world into reality and really believe in it. Pathological lying is sometimes seen in people who try to avoid responsibilities, deadlines and projects. On the other hand, there are people who lie due to serious neurological problems.
Pathological lying in children is usually caused by the fear of punishment. Adolescents lie because they do not want to be punished and sometimes they do not want to hurt their parents. But pathological lying in adults most commonly points to the presence of a hidden mental disorder.
How to Recognize a Pathological Liar
Pathological liars lie about everything and this is why they can be easily caught in lie. Their stories mostly sound too good to be true. It may happen that they tell one story in two different ways. This arouses suspicion and if one asks additional question it can be rather easy to figure out that something in the story does not make sense. Pathological liars also tend to tell different versions of one story to different people. If these people share stories they will see that there is certain inconsistency. But, pathological liars may be also very persuasive and convince people in their lies. The liar may also make people do what he/ she wants. Once, they are caught lying they will not admit they have been lying and will defend themselves.
Pathological Lying Treatment
The treatment for pathological lying basically depends on the person's accepting of habitual lying and it consists of psychotherapy and medications. These people must be aware of the fact that they need professional help. Well experienced doctors will try to identify underlying cause of pathological lying. They will also treat the underlying psychological disorders.